I'm talking about doing something that challenges yourself.
I'll be the first to admit that I like to stay in my little comfort bubble and not step outside of it. The only problem is, not much exciting happens inside my little comfort bubble. There's not a whole lot of room for growth, either.
The comfort bubble also doesn't like to expand when life needs to change--such as when you're a college senior and you have to interview for "big girl jobs".
Thus, I found myself in a professional conference that seemed more terrifying than it ever had before. I had attended the previous two years, but it was comfortable then. I was primarily there to collect pens, sit in on a few lectures that I thought I could understand (and try not to doze off in the ones I couldn't), and enjoy a couple fancy luncheons with friends.
This year was different. I had resumes printed off in a brand-new portfolio, cover letters I had painstakingly constructed and re-read until my eyeballs were about to fall out, and I was also trying to not compulsively chew on my fingernails out of nervousness. It was job search time, but there weren't any scheduled interviews that interested me.
That left me with walking up to company representatives cold-turkey and asking if they had any openings.
That's definitely not an activity that falls within my comfort zone. The thought of walking up to people I don't know makes my hands sweat.
The first day of the conference, I successfully managed to drop a resume off to a friendly lady at a booth when she asked what brought me to her kiosk.
The next day was more difficult. I had resolved to visit the interview area, as interviewers were welcome to "conduct impromptu interviews with individuals they met on site". That involved me walking to the next building over (offering plenty of time to chicken out) and walking into an unfamiliar setting.
After visiting one "open interview" booth that didn't work for me, I found myself sitting in a stiff chair along the wall with the students who had scheduled interviews, eyeing the other open interview booth and trying to decide if it might be smarter to just turn around and walk back to the main conference center, rather than waiting for them to finish up their current interview.
The student next to me (who I had met in passing a few times before) struck up a conversation with me and I told him that I was thinking about turning around. He encouraged me to wait and take the opportunity. I don't remember exactly what he said, but it was something along the lines of, "You'll never get anywhere if you don't try something new once in a while."
Long story short (or at least less long), I went over to the booth and asked to interview. I found out the company places students/professionals into jobs and have since received a few opportunities to interview for their clients. I wouldn't have had those opportunities if I had never had the courage to walk up to the booth and ask if they were hiring.
So, email that agent. Go to that writer's conference. Contact a few beta readers. Attempt NaNoWriMo. Self-publish when it's thought out. Walk up to that author and ask for an interview.
Do something that scares you.
Because, who knows? You might find yourself pleasantly surprised.
I still have a couple guest-posting opportunities available for March. Shoot me your idea via the contact form!